Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Faculty trip to An'Yang

This weekend we went on a short overnight trip to An'Yang.  An'Yang is said to be the 'Birthplace of Chinese Culture'.  It was the capital city to 6 or 7 dynasties and had a large amount of turtle shells with oracle prophesies found several years ago.  That being said, the trip was fun but I highly doubt I will ever go back to the city.  I did manage to get some good pictures while there though.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Some Of My HDR Images

Well, after writing a little bit about my editing process, I realized I haven’t really made any HDR images lately.  So, today when I got bored I decided to make some.  I went through some of my old photos and picked out a few that I thought would look cool in the HDR format.  These are the results:

Beijing Park HDR

This is a park in Beijing that my friend Dan and walked around for a bit while we were waiting on the others from our group.

Shanghai Building HDR

This is just a random building in the YuYuan garden area in Shanghai.

Summer Palace Roof HDR

This is a picture of some cool roof tiles at the Summer Palace in Beijing.

Summer Palace Stairs HDR

This is some more of the Summer Palace in Beijing.

Tiger HDR

This is one of my favorites of the day.  This is from the Siberian Tiger Park in Harbin, China.

Monday, September 24, 2012

How To Make Your Photos Look Better - Maybe

          Ok, so if you don't know already, I live in China.  I promised a friend back home in the good old USA that I would show her how to do some of the things I do to my photos.  Obviously I can't do that now, so here's my written explanation.  Now, I know that some of my photographer friends who are really good at what they do will /facepalm themselves upon reading this, but that's ok.  I like this method and it's suited me well so far.

Monday, September 17, 2012

The Lotus Festival?

        So last Friday, September 14th, a relatively small group of SIAS teachers loaded up on a bus headed to HuaiYang for the Lotus Festival...or so we thought.  During the Lotus Festival pilgrims from all over China go to this town, where Emperor Fu Xi died, to pay their respects.  Each day of the festival the mausoleum recieves anywhere from 200,000 people to 400,000 people.  So, obviously we were expecting that.

This is the 'Tiger' they gave us.
        We pulled into town and drove to the 'tourist area' where we were greeted with small stuffed tigers, a brochure about HuaiYang, and yes, video cameras.  Professional looking video equipment and an entourage of Chinese onlookers.  My guess is that they were making some kind of promotional piece with the gist of 'look at all these foreigners that come here, you should come too!'.  The camera guy followed us around the entire tour of the mausoleum.  

       The tour of the mausoleum was actually kind of cool.  It turns out that the Chinese view Fu Xi as the beginning of the Chinese.  He was compared to Adam in the Garden of Eden.

        Oh I almost forgot to mention, we were practically the only ones in there!  Not because we were special.  Not because they were filming us.  It was mainly because the Lotus Festival happened over a month ago!  Anyways...the tour is beginning to come to an end an we're starting to get hungry.  As we are leaving the mausoleum I'm starting to get excited about lunch because it's going to be one of those big, over the top, Chinese lunches where you get to see all kinds of strange different foods.

There's something fishy about this...
        Well, I was right about the different foods.  The town of HuaiYang is obviously famous for its lotus.  Lotus grows in water -lakes- fish live in lakes, therefore the town eats a lot of fish.  We had fried tiny whole fish...like sardine looking but fried.  A couple of fish soups.  Some lotus, of course.  And many other dishes that I didn't know what they were.  But the one that caught my eye as well as everyone else's was the main fish dish.  It was a fairly large fish, cut down the middle, then spread apart on either side, sliced up, with the head as a nice trophy staring back at you.  Now, don't get me wrong, I've had fish with its head still on before, here in China as well as in Mexico.  This one just had something about it that looked different.

Yep...even Spongebob is red in China
After lunch we got back on the bus and headed for what we thought was going to be a boat ride in the lake to see all the lotus up close and personal.  However, we were wrong.  We stopped at some lakeside docks that were surrounded by lotus.  This was actually the best part of the trip.  We saw a red Spongebob, several women in wedding dresses getting their photos taken, and we saw lots of lotus.  However...we only stayed there for about fifteen minutes!  They were anxious to get us back to SIAS I suppose, so we boarded the bus again and drove home.  All in all it was a good day.

Some lovely lotus

I like signs like this for some reason

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Fun Fast Summer

Like I've said before, I'm not good at keeping up with these things.  The summer has already come and gone.  It was a lot of fun and full of friends and family.  I didn't do as much photography as I'd hoped to do, but I did get a few good pictures.

This is the new Zip-Line at Bonclarken.  It's an impressive tower, especially with the Milky Way in the background!

The Bonclaken swimming pool.  Did I say I had a good summer? Cause I did.
There were countless nights where the skies were just absolutely beautiful!

A view from "Jump Off Rock" 

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Home Sweet Home

     I made it home!  I got into Greensboro last Wednesday night around 11:00.  It was a long journey home but nothing more than that.  No incidents to report other than being sandwiched between two elderly Chinese women with children in front and back of me.
     The first full day back my dad and brother took me out for a round of golf.  Needless to say they destroyed me.  I think thy both shot around an 80-85 where I shot upwards of 115.  However, it was a lot of fun.
     Last Saturday my mom hosted a little gathering where Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles, Cousins and their children came over for some burgers and hot-dogs.  That was a lot of fun!  It was really great getting to see everyone again, even if for just a short time.

Four generations of Wilson's in one photo!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Best of the Year

The following three photos are without a doubt my most favorite photos that I have taken while in China.  The first photo is of Yuntai Mountain.  
This was one of the first trips we went on as a faculty and definitely one of the better trips of the year.  There was a small rock bridge that you could walk over to get to some other trails and as I was walking over it, I noticed that the water was so perfectly still that it looked like a mirror.  I thought that it would make a cool picture and I was right.
The next picture is from Shanghai, China. This was during my Winter Vacation where
 my friend Joey and I traveled all over China.
We visited Harbin, Beijing, Huangshan, Suzhou and Shanghai.  Shanghai was by far the most 'western' city that we visited.This picture was taken at The Bund.  The skyline at night is one of the coolest views I've ever seen.  
Finally, this last picture is of a sunset in Suzhou, China.  Suzhou is a city that is famous for having canals all over the place and being praised as the "Venice of the East".  Well, it wasn't that great.  Sure it was cool, but it wasn't that cool.  Joey and I both agreed that this city was our least favorite of all of our trip.  But, That doesn't mean the picture is any less awesome.  This picture is my all-time favorite picture that I have taken up to this point in my life.  Who knows, maybe I'll end up taking something better in the future, but as of now, I think this is my best.